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First Amendment Library:
Elisha Hanson


Respondent publishes a daily newspaper at White Plains, New York. During the period relevant here, its daily circulation ranged from 9,000 to 11,000 copies. It had no desire for and made no effort to secure out-of-state circulation. Practically all of its circulation was local. But about one-half of 1 per cent was regularly out-of-state.[1] Petitioners are some of respondent's employees. They brought this suit in the New York courts to recover overtime compensation, liquidated damages and counsel fees pursuant to § 16 (b) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. 52 Stat. 1069, 29 U.S.C. § 216 (b). The supreme court gave judgment for the petitioners. 179 Misc. 832, 38 N.Y.S.2d 231; 180 Misc. 8, 41 N.Y.S.2d 534. The appellate division reversed and ordered the complaint to be dismissed. 267 App. Div. 284, 45 N.Y.S.2d 479. That judgment was affirmed by the court of *181 appeals without opinion. 293 N.Y. 781, 58 N.E.2d 520; 294 N.Y. 701, 60 N.E.2d 848. The case is here on a petition for a writ of certiorari which we granted because of the probable conflict between the decision below and those from the federal courts.[2]


These cases bring for decision important questions concerning the Administrator's right to judicial enforcement of subpoenas duces tecum issued by him in the course of investigations conducted pursuant to § 11 (a) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. 52 Stat. 1060. His claim is founded directly upon § 9, which incorporates the enforcement provisions of §§ 9 and 10 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 38 Stat. 717.[1] The subpoenas sought the production of specified records to determine whether petitioners were violating the Fair Labor Standards Act, including records relating to coverage. Petitioners, newspaper publishing corporations, maintain that the Act is not applicable to them, for constitutional and other reasons, and insist that the question of coverage must be adjudicated before the subpoenas may be enforced.


This proceeding brings here for review a judgment of the Supreme Court of Florida, 156 Fla. 227, 22 So.2d 875, which affirmed a judgment of guilt in contempt of the Circuit Court of Dade County, Florida, on a citation of petitioners by that Circuit Court.